Sat, May 11, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Fubon sweep series to capture SBL title

GOOD YEAR:US-born Charles Garcia was named finals MVP after averaging 22.4 points in all four games, the cap to a year that included the birth of his daughter

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

The Fubon Braves celebrate winning the Super Basketball League championship on Thursday at Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

The Fubon Braves on Thursday clinched the Super Basketball League (SBL) title in a four-game sweep after defeating Taiwan Beer 103-91 at the Sinjhuang Gymnasium in New Taipei City, as the team celebrate their first-ever championship trophy.

It was not an easy task, as Taiwan Beer have played in six finals in the SBL’s 16-year history, winning four in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2016.

Following their victory, Fubon Braves owner Chris Tsai announced that he would disburse more than NT$10 million (US$323,018) in bonuses and rewards to players and staff for their season-long effort.

“This is our team’s first championship, we are proud of this accomplishment,” Tsai said. “It will give us the will and energy to bolster Taiwan’s basketball environment, and we hope to win more titles in the coming years.”

Tsai added that he had not slept well in the past week due to the pressure and travel to Kaohsiung, but the burden has been lifted, and he now feels elated.

Team officials also announced that the team would go to Hawaii for a year-end vacation, a decision reached after a player vote.

The finals series started on Saturday last week in Kaohsiung, with Fubon edging Taiwan Beer 85-83 in a thrilling finish, followed by a more decisive 83-78 triumph on Sunday.

Riding their momentum and a return home to New Taipei City, the Braves on Tuesday beat Taiwan Beer 87-78, then blasted past the century mark for a 12-point margin of victory on Thursday for the title.

In Game 4, US-born Belizean forward Charles Garcia posted a double-double with 37 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, while Joseph Lin, younger brother of NBA star Jeremy Lin, netted the team’s second-highest at 17 points.

Four of their teammates also scored in double digits, including US forward Tony Mitchell with 12 points and seven rebounds, and guard Lai Ting-en with 12 points and five rebounds from the bench.

Head coach Hsu Chin-che said that his players had learned from past mistakes and stayed focused.

“Even when we led the series, we continued to concentrate and battled on to prevent a reversal... I want this team to stay together. We can win more titles,” he said.

Garcia was named finals MVP after averaging 22.4 points throughout the series.

“This is the first championship trophy in my career and it is the best gift for myself. It’s been a fantastic year with the birth of my daughter, together with the title and the finals MVP,” Garcia said. “Hsu is a great head coach; I want to play for his team wherever he goes in the future.”

Jeremy Lin congratulated his brother on Instagram.

“Congrats on the championship!! SOOO proud of my lil bro!” he wrote. “Came into the SBL as a 140lb undersized college grad but kept working amidst the doubt and criticism. Always being labeled ‘Jeremys little brother.’ But God has truly blessed you so much over these four years: 4x All Star, 2x SBL Assist Leader, Rookie of the Year, First Team All League and now CHAMPION!!”

This story has been viewed 1489 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top